Aging Gracefully Writing Contest Winner: Mary Beth Ions!
The Winning Essay has Been Selected!
The Aging Gracefully writing contest rules stated that essays had to inspire, encourage, or promote the health and wellness of today’s actively aging population. The judges of Aging Gracefully and The Villager Newspapers agreed that Mary Beth’s essay stood out, even though there were many excellent essays turned in.
Mary Beth Ions Won $150 prize!
Mary Beth Ions may enjoy writing, but she’s also a popular professional violinist who was recently playing beautifully for Jesus Christ Superstar musical (from the Broadway Series).
The staff of Villager Newspapers agreed that Mary Beth’s inspiring essay followed all the contest rules and is especially relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here is the winning essay:
Bette Davis once said, “Old age is no place for sissies.” I don’t know at what age “old” begins but all seasons of a person’s life come with their share of challenges. We perceive challenges as inevitable but as we age we often view them as insurmountable. We do, however, have a choice. Aging gracefully is a decision.
LEMONS INTO LEMONADE
The Coronavirus has shifted our paradigm. Nothing is, at least for now, as it was. What an oddly perfect time to incorporate new ideas (safely!) into your life. Spring is coming. Listen to birds, lawnmowers, children and all the other sounds you hear once windows are open. But listen to yourself, too. What is your body saying? if you feel stiff, you need to move. Lack of light and seemingly endless gray days take their toll. Getting outside for even a short walk will clear your mind and give your soul a new perspective. Look at buds on trees and bright protrusions of green everywhere and envision what will soon burst forth. Notice the blue sky and feel the sun. Pet a (friendly) dog. Pay attention to everything. Breathe deeply and just let your mind turn off for a bit. Our brains can be kaleidoscopes of thought and worry. CHOOSE to let go and breathe.
SILVER AND GOLD
An old song refers to “gold” as old friends and “silver” as new friends. As we age, we might begin to lose our precious gold. Please know the sun will continue to rise and your life will go on. There are senior center facilities in almost every community. Many are bright and vibrant and offer a big range of fun. Go to one (when permitted). Play cards, swim, sign up for a bus trip or dinner outing. Chances are you’ll enjoy yourself and welcome new friends into your life!
A SILVER LINING
There IS a silver lining to aging. The wealth of knowledge, unique skills, and life lessons seniors offer is enormous. Volunteer to read to kids, offer a lonely neighbor some fresh-baked bread (and conversation!), drive folks to voting locations, be present and aware of opportunities to make the world better.
Our lives can be tapestries of connection. Why not participate and discover your purpose at ANY age!
THANK YOU to Mary Beth Ions! You can learn more about Mary Beth by clicking here to watch last year’s interview of her on Aging Gracefully TV.
Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box below…